By Steve Oni, Ilorin
Political thugs loyal to the factional gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kwara State, Abdulrahman Abdulrasak, have been alleged to have attacked the Agbaji Ilorin family residence of the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki.
In the ensuing melee on Sunday,11 persons were reportedly injured, while about 50 exotic cars parked at various locations within Agbaji Quarters were also allegedly vandalised.
It would be recalled that the APC thugs had on Thursday allegedly unleashed violence on the people of Agbaji, Adewole and Pakata areas of Ilorin metropolis, where four members of the Peoples Democratic Party were reportedly injured.
The development reportedly made the Senate President to address a press conference in Abuja where he raised the alarm about threat to his life and those of his family and supporters.
The Sunday incident, according to residents of the area, reportedly “started at about 11:30am when fully armed APC thugs stormed their area and shot sporadically into the air to scare people away.”
According to the President of Agbaji Development Association, Alhaji Musa Olanrewaju Yusuf, the rampaging thugs were allegedly led by Yahaya Seriki and Musbau Esinrogunjo, adding that 11 people, who sustained injuries from gunshots were taken to General Hospital, Ilorin and a private medical facility for treatment.
He said: “The APC thugs came around 11:30am and shot sporadically into the air. In fact, they were provided cover by the DPO Adewole Division of Police. At least, 11 people received injuries from gunshots while about 50 cars including that of Imam Aliagan were destroyed.
“The thugs also carted away four motorbikes and stole money and jewelry from shops deserted by their owners.”
It was also gathered that the APC thugs allegedly spread the violence to Ajikobi and Omoda areas of Ilorin metropolis.
The state Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Tunde Ashaolu, said the Sunday incident had validated the alarm raised by the Senate President on threat to his life and those of his family and supporters, “which the police made futile efforts to refute.”
Reacting, the Media Aide to Abdulrahman Abdulrazak Governorship Campaign Organisation, Rafiu Ajakaye, alleged that PDP thugs were wearing APC vests to attack innocent citizens, saying that the PDP had mass produced vests and other APC logos with which they go about to unleash terror on innocent people.
He said: “We have information that PDP thugs, true to our predictions since December 2018, have now mass-produced vests and other APC logos with which they are going around Kwara State to destroy things and attack innocent citizens. This is an old tactic for which the PDP and its patrons are known.
“We recently alerted the people of Kwara to this evil tactic of the PDP. Armed with guns and other deadly weapons, they are wearing the same APC vests and filming themselves as they carried out this act of violence against Kwarans. An example was what they did today (Sunday 13 January) in Surulere area of Ilorin in the state capital. This was the same tactic they deployed in 2003 and other election periods. These are panicky measures adopted by the drowning dynasty which has lost the battle of ideas.
“We understand that the Senate president went to some hospitals in Surulere to visit victims of the attacks. We recommend that Nollywood should consider giving some politicians a role in their upcoming movies, especially that people will soon vote them out of public office. We dare say that the visit of the Senate president was meant to cover up the evils of his men.
“We remain committed to running a peaceful, issues-based and decent campaign. Again, we call on the security agencies to arrest this ugly trend. These thugs should be arrested and questioned to reveal their true identities. We reiterate our position that politicians must seek people’s votes through superior arguments and campaign pledges, not through violence and propaganda for which the PDP is now known all over Nigeria. The drowning dynasty must run its campaign on its records in office, not through violence and intimidation. Enough is enough. O To Ge.”
Also reacting, the Kwara state Police Public Relations Officer, Ajayi Okasanmi, confirmed the incident, saying no arrest had been made.